Monday, August 18, 2008

Musharraf Resigns; Was The Author Of His Own Misfortune

Pervez Musharraf has resigned as President of Pakistan to avoid impeachment.

Goodbye and good riddance.

Yes, Pakistan is still a very, very dangerous place and it remains to be seen how long Ali Zardari's people and Sharif's people can co-exist.

Will they try to prosecute Musharraf criminally? That might keep them united for awhile.

Or will they let him leave? Of course, the risk is if that things do go wrong he could come back from exile via a military coup.

There are efforts to reduce the powers of the President to a largely ceremonial role.

Will Gilani remain as Prime Minister or will there be a struggle between Ali Zardari and Sharif for that office?

Most importantly, will Pakistan be more effective in combatting the Taliban and al Qaeda in Musharraf's absence?

All of this remains to be seen. But Musharraf didn't get the job done and the fact that Condi Rice said his departure was an "internal matter" indicates to me that the Administration thinks "don't let the door hit your ass on the way out."

Musharraf was heavyhanded where it concerned the sacking of judges and the actions he took during last fall's state of emergency. But worst of all was his reaction to Benazir Bhutto's assassination. That his government would say that she died by bumping her head was disrespectful beyond belief. That Musharraf would say her assassination was her own fault rather than condemning those who killed her demonstrates what sort of human being he is. Whether he was complicit in the assassination will probably never be known but he clearly didn't shed a tear over it. Well, I do not shed a tear over his political demise.

He was the author of his own misfortune.

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